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Die 10 berühmtesten Gemälde der Welt

The 10 most famous paintings in the world

Written by Forrest Brown, CNN (Original Text)
Published on November 21, 2019

The 10 most famous paintings in the world

Every year, billions of dollars worth of artworks are sold at international auction houses, while leading museums have tens or even hundreds of thousands of works of art in their collections. But few ever achieve the fame required to truly be considered household names.

Because "famous" is a subjective term, CNN Style turned to Google to find out which paintings have topped search results worldwide over the past five years.

We've compared dozens of popular masterpieces - from classics like Mona Lisa, The Great Wave off Kanagawa and Salavator Mundi to more modern works like Nighthawks and even the Dogs Playing Poker series.

Based on these results, these are the 10 most searched paintings in the world:

10. 'Creation of Adam'

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Artist: Michelangelo
Datum: 1508 to 1512
Where you can see itSistine Chapel (Vatican City)
Reprinted at artliaMichelangelo, Creation of Adam

Famed artist Michelangelo's most famous work covers part of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel - you have to look up to see it. The scene depicts God and Adam with their arms outstretched, with their fingers almost touching. It is one of the most copied images in history.

Adam's muscular figure suggests another of Michelangelo's talents - his "David" is probably the most famous sculpture in the world. You can view the towering marble statue at the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence.

Did you know? The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel had been tarnished by centuries of exposure to candle smoke and more. After a lengthy, extensive cleanup completed in 1989, people were shocked to see the bright, vibrant colors that Michelangelo had originally used.

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9. 'Las Meninas'

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Artist: Diego Velazquez
Datum: 1656
Where you can see itPrado Museum (Madrid)
Reprinted at artliaLas Meninas, Diego Velázquez

Madrid is the only city in this overview where two of the 10 most famous paintings can be found, namely "Guernica" at number 5 and "Las Maninas" at number 9.

Located in the famous (and enormous) Prado, Las Meninas is not only Diego Velázquez's most famous painting, but also one of his greatest. The complexity of the work has fascinated art critics and audiences for centuries.

The painting serves a double function as a portrait. It serves as a group portrait of the Spanish royal family, but it is also a self-portrait of Velázquez himself at work (left).

Did you already know that? "Las Meninas" was commissioned by King Philip IV of Spain, who reigned from 1621 to 1665. It was in the Royal Palace until 1819 and then moved to the Prado.

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8. 'The Birth of Venus'

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ArtistSandro Botticelli
Estimated date: 1485
Where you can see itThe Uffizi Galleries (Florence, Italy)
Reprinted at artliaBirth of Venus - originalBirth of Venus - vertical

The oldest painting in the top 10 and, along with "The Kiss," the most sensual, "The Birth of Venus" was likely commissioned by a member of the wealthy and art-loving Medici family, which ruled Florence and surrounding areas for centuries.

Combining a renewed interest in classical Greek culture with early Renaissance style, Botticelli created an unforgettable figure of the goddess of love emerging from a giant conch shell.

Did you know? Botticelli's "Venus" differs from most other works of his contemporaries in two ways. For one thing, he painted on canvas instead of the more popular wood. Secondly, nudity was a rarity at the time - so it was daring for Venus to be completely exposed, save for her long, flowing hair and a hand that (barely) covers her most intimate parts.

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7. 'Girl With a Pearl Earring'

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Artist: Johannes Vermeer
Estimated date: 1665
Where you can see itMauritshuis (The Hague, Netherlands)
Reprinted at artlia: Girl with a Pearl Earring

This fascinating favorite image is often compared to the "Mona Lisa". Setting aside the stylistic differences, the "Girl with a Pearl Earring" is technically not even a portrait, but rather a "tronie" - a Dutch word for the painting of an imaginary figure with exaggerated facial features.

The oil on canvas masterpiece is brilliant in its simplicity. The girl, wearing a blue and gold turban and an oversized pearl earring, takes center stage and is accompanied only by a dark background.

Did you already know that? While the Mauritshuis was being renovated from 2012 to 2014, the "Girl with a Pearl Earring" toured the United States, Italy and Japan. It was a crowd-pleaser, further cementing its status as one of the world's most famous works of art.

6. 'The Kiss'

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ArtistGustav Klimt
Estimated date: 1908 to 1909
Where you can see itUpper Belvedere museum (Vienna, Austria)
Reprinted at artliaGustav Klimt, The Kiss

With #6 we move from a study of hate to a study of love with Gustav Klimt's beloved "The Kiss." Byzantine art movements from Klimt's "Golden Period" can be seen in the highly decorative robes of the passionate, life-size couple.

In the Upper Belvedere it is said that with "The Kiss" Klimt makes a "general allegorical statement about love as the core of human existence". Given the painting's magnetic appeal, everyone seems to agree.

Did you know that? While "The Kiss" is not for sale, other works by Klimt are bought and sold for huge sums of money. In 2016, Oprah Winfrey sold the 1907 work of art "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II" for $150 million - with a profit of $60 million.

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5. 'Guernica'

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Artist: Pablo Picasso
Datum: 1937
Where you can see itReina Sofia Museum (Madrid)

It is the youngest painting on this list and depicts the German bombing of the Basque city of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.

The painting has Picasso's distinctive style, and its unsparing examination of the horrors of war made it an essential part of 20th century culture and history.

Did you already know that? "Guernica" was taken to the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York for safekeeping during World War II. Picasso asked for an extension of his stay until democracy returned to Spain. It finally returned to Madrid in 1981, six years after the death of longtime Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco.

4. 'The Scream'

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Artist: Edvard Munch
Datum: 1893
Where you can see itNational Museum (Oslo, Norway -- opening in 2020) and Munch Museum (Oslo -- through May 2020)
Reprinted at artliaEdvard Munch, The Scream

First things first: “The Scream” is not a single work of art. According to a British Museum blog, they include two paintings, two pastels and an unspecified number of prints. The paintings are in the National Museum and the Munch Museum, and in 2012 one of the pastels sold at auction for nearly $120 million.

Similar to the case of the “Mona Lisa,” daring thefts (1994 and 2004) of the two painting versions of “The Scream” helped bring the works of art to public attention. (Both were eventually found).

Did you know? The androgynous figure in the foreground of the Art Nouveau painting does not let out a scream, but rather attempts to suppress a piercing scream from nature. The image was inspired by an experience Munch had while walking in Oslo at sunset, when a dramatic red hue overwhelmed his senses.

3. 'The Starry Night'

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ArtistVincent van Gogh
Datum: 1889
Where you can see itMuseum of Modern Art (New York City)
Reprinted at artliaStarry Night, Van Gogh

The comparatively abstract painting is a typical example of van Gogh's innovative and bold use of thick brush strokes. The painting's striking blues and yellows and dreamy, swirling atmosphere have captivated art lovers for decades.

Did you know that? Van Gogh was living in an asylum in Saint-Rémy, France, where he was being treated for mental illness when he painted "The Starry Night." The view from the window of his room inspired him.

2. 'The Last Supper'

The_Last_Supper_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci-Joy_of_Museums

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Estimated date: 1495 to 1498
Where you can see itSanta Maria delle Grazie (Milan, Italy)

Leonardo, the original "Renaissance Man," is the only artist to appear twice on this list. Painted in a time when religious imagery was still a dominant artistic theme, "The Last Supper" depicts the last time Jesus broke bread with his disciples before his crucifixion. The painting is actually a huge fresco - 4.6 meters high and 8.8 meters wide - that is an unforgettable sight.

Did you know that? The fresco survived two military threats: Napoleon's troops used the wall of the refectory on which the fresco was painted as target practice. It was also exposed to air for several years when bombing raids during World War II destroyed the roof of the Dominican monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.

1. 'Mona Lisa'

mona-lisa-1200x800-artlia

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Estimated date: 1503 to 1519
Where you can see itLouvre Museum (Paris)
Reprinted at artliaMona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci

It should come as no surprise that the most famous painting in the world is the mysterious woman with the enigmatic smile. But that is one of the few certainties that exist about this work of art.

The sitter is believed to be Lisa Gherardini, the wife of the Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocondo, but experts are uncertain. The painting is the first known Italian portrait to place such close focus on the sitter in a half-length portrait, according to the Louvre, where it was first exhibited in 1804.

Did you already know that? Before the 20th century, the "Mona Lisa" was hardly known outside the art world, according to historians. But in 1911, a former Louvre employee stole the portrait and hid it for two years. This theft contributed to the painting becoming a permanent fixture in popular culture and introducing millions of people to Renaissance art.

Take a look at the Classic works of art printed on canvas at artlia. Your room will turn into a gallery. 


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